Bilkent University     Department of Physics

PHYS 124 - Freshman Project

Semester:Spring 2016
Instructor: Cemal Yalabik
Office: Room SA-228 Phone 1316
Assistant: Mohammed Fathi Tovini

About the course:
This course intends to impart to the student, knowledge and capabilities associated with basic reserch methods and tools needed to carry out reasearch in Physics. The course will involve 2 hours/week of classroom instruction in which the student will be exposed to such subjects as literature and citation search through indices, planning and carrying out research procedures, research ethics, use of scientific computer tools for statistical analysis, report construction and presentation.

The course will proceed in relation with a project on a specific topic in physics or a closely related area. The course will expose students to research through projects that require no prior knowledge beyond the high school level.

Teaching goals include practicing critical thinking, analyzing cause and effect relationships, planning controlled experiments, as well as gaining familiarity with useful skills such as literature search and scientific document preparation.

The project activity and classroom topics will generate regular assignments aiming to provide sufficient practice of the tools thought during class.

Attendance requirement
If a student misses more than 6 hours of class, (s)he will need to compensate this by completing assignments which will take much longer time to do, or the grade will be an F.

The grading will be based on the progress of the student's research project, which will be assessed regularly during the semester through the reports and presentation material that will have to be prepared. Students will also be graded on the presentation of their project at the end of the semester.

Homework performance and attendance will also affect the final grade.

Literature search homework 10% Due Wednesday, February 17
Project proposal 10% Due Wednesday, February 24
LaTex homework 10% Due Wednesday, March 2
Project progress report 10% Due Wednesday, March 16
Numerical modeling homework 1 10% Due Wednesday, March 23
Numerical modeling homework 2 10% Due Wednesday, April 6
Project report 10% Due Wednesday, April 20
Project presentation material 10% Due Wednesday, April 27
Project presentation 20%
Colloquium attendance (extra credit) 10%
Class attendance (extra credit) 10%

You can view your grades through the Stars system.

Course Schedule:
First meeting: Monday, Feb. 1, 10:40 - 12:30 in B-102
Lectures:Mondays 10:40 - 12:30Room B-102
Practice sessions:Wednesdays 15:40 - 17:30Room SA-Z02
Office Hours:
Thursdays11:40 - 12:30Room SA-228
All other times (if available - call 1316 to check) Room SA-228

Introduction, description of work to be carried out
[Discussion of possible project topics]
Week Class discussion Tasks/Assignments Discussion of available personal and university resources Literature search Students come with printed material related to possible topics
Selection of general area of the project Planning a project
Hypothesis, analysis/experiment, evaluation
Class discussions on all of the project topics
Literature search homework due Introduction to LaTex
Tutorial Files     The LaTex manual
Colloquium: "Surprises in particle sedimentation" by Roberto Piazza
Project proposal due Data visualization
Gnuplot information
Colloquium: "Quantum optics of spins and photons" by Mete Atature
LaTex homework due Numerical modeling
Numerical modeling examples Data analysis Colloquium: "An adventure in psychic communication:
Optical communication with invisible photons" by Suhail Zubairy

Project progress report due Research ethics
Numerical modeling homework 1 due Scientific writing Colloquium: "Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for Fuel Cell applications" by Taner Yildirim Order of magnitude Physics Colloquium: "Active Matter" by Giovanni Volpe
Numerical modeling homework 2 due Presentation software
More advanced project opportunities
in the department
Colloquium: "Neutrinos in Physics and Astrophysics"
by Baha Balantekin

Project report due Making effective oral presentations
Colloquium: "Nanotechnology at Work: From Basic Science to Spin-Off Companies" by Ekmel Ozbay
Presentation material due
Improvements on presentation material Project Presentations
Project Presentations